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  1. Understanding and predicting the relationship between leaf temperature ( T leaf ) and air temperature ( T air ) is essential for projecting responses to a warming climate, as studies suggest that many forests are near thermal thresholds for carbon uptake. Based on leaf measurements, the limited leaf homeothermy hypothesis argues that daytime T leaf is maintained near photosynthetic temperature optima and below damaging temperature thresholds. Specifically, leaves should cool below T air at higher temperatures (i.e., > ∼25–30°C) leading to slopes <1 in T leaf / T air relationships and substantial carbon uptake when leaves are cooler than air. This hypothesis implies that climate warming will be mitigated by a compensatory leaf cooling response. A key uncertainty is understanding whether such thermoregulatory behavior occurs in natural forest canopies. We present an unprecedented set of growing season canopy-level leaf temperature ( T can ) data measured with thermal imaging at multiple well-instrumented forest sites in North and Central America. Our data do not support the limited homeothermy hypothesis: canopy leaves are warmer than air during most of the day and only cool below air in mid to late afternoon, leading to T can / T air slopes >1 and hysteretic behavior. We find that the majority of ecosystem photosynthesis occurs when canopy leaves are warmer than air. Using energy balance and physiological modeling, we show that key leaf traits influence leaf-air coupling and ultimately the T can / T air relationship. Canopy structure also plays an important role in T can dynamics. Future climate warming is likely to lead to even greater T can , with attendant impacts on forest carbon cycling and mortality risk. 
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  2. Abstract. The flow of carbon through terrestrial ecosystems and the response toclimate are critical but highly uncertain processes in the global carboncycle. However, with a rapidly expanding array of in situ and satellitedata, there is an opportunity to improve our mechanistic understanding ofthe carbon (C) cycle's response to land use and climate change. Uncertaintyin temperature limitation on productivity poses a significant challenge topredicting the response of ecosystem carbon fluxes to a changing climate.Here we diagnose and quantitatively resolve environmental limitations onthe growing-season onset of gross primary production (GPP) using nearly 2 decades of meteorological and C flux data (2000–2018) at a subalpineevergreen forest in Colorado, USA. We implement the CARbonDAta-MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM) model–datafusion network to resolve the temperature sensitivity of spring GPP. Tocapture a GPP temperature limitation – a critical component of the integratedsensitivity of GPP to temperature – we introduced a cold-temperature scalingfunction in CARDAMOM to regulate photosynthetic productivity. We found thatGPP was gradually inhibited at temperatures below 6.0 ∘C (±2.6 ∘C) and completely inhibited below −7.1 ∘C(±1.1 ∘C). The addition of this scaling factor improvedthe model's ability to replicate spring GPP at interannual and decadal timescales (r=0.88), relative to the nominal CARDAMOM configuration (r=0.47), and improved spring GPP model predictability outside of the dataassimilation training period (r=0.88). While cold-temperaturelimitation has an important influence on spring GPP, it does not have asignificant impact on integrated growing-season GPP, revealing that otherenvironmental controls, such as precipitation, play a more important role inannual productivity. This study highlights growing-season onset temperatureas a key limiting factor for spring growth in winter-dormant evergreenforests, which is critical in understanding future responses to climatechange. 
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  3. Abstract

    The Noah‐MP land surface model (LSM) relies on the Monin‐Obukhov (M‐O) Similarity Theory (MOST) to calculate land‐atmosphere exchanges of water, energy, and momentum fluxes. However, MOST flux‐profile relationships neglect canopy‐induced turbulence in the roughness sublayer (RSL) and parameterize within‐canopy turbulence in an ad hoc manner. We implement a new physics scheme (M‐O‐RSL) into Noah‐MP that explicitly parameterizes turbulence in RSL. We compare Noah‐MP simulations employing the M‐O‐RSL scheme (M‐O‐RSL simulations) and the default M‐O scheme (M‐O simulations) against observations obtained from 647 Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) stations and two AmeriFlux stations in the western United States. M‐O‐RSL simulations of snow water equivalent (SWE) outperform M‐O simulations over 64% and 69% of SNOTEL sites in terms of root‐mean‐square‐error (RMSE) and correlation, respectively. The largest improvements in skill for M‐O‐RSL occur over closed shrubland sites, and the largest degradations in skill occur over deciduous broadleaf forest sites. Differences between M‐O and M‐O‐RSL simulated snowpack are primarily attributable to differences in aerodynamic conductance for heat underneath the canopy top, which modulates sensible heat flux. Differences between M‐O and M‐O‐RSL within‐canopy and below‐canopy sensible heat fluxes affect the amount of heat transported into snowpack and hence change snowmelt when temperatures are close to or above the melting point. The surface energy budget analysis over two AmeriFlux stations shows that differences between M‐O and M‐O‐RSL simulations can be smaller than other model biases (e.g., surface albedo). We intend for the M‐O‐RSL physics scheme to improve performance and uncertainty estimates in weather and hydrological applications that rely on Noah‐MP.

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  4. Abstract

    Snowpack accumulation in forested watersheds depends on the amount of snow intercepted in the canopy and its partitioning into sublimation, unloading, and melt. A lack of canopy snow measurements limits our ability to evaluate models that simulate canopy processes and predict snowpack. We tested whether monitoring changes in wind‐induced tree sway is a viable technique for detecting snow interception and quantifying canopy snow water equivalent (SWE). Over a 6 year period in Colorado, we monitored hourly sway of two conifers, each instrumented with an accelerometer sampling at 12 Hz. We developed an approach to distinguish changes in sway frequency due to thermal effects on tree rigidity versus intercepted snow mass. Over 60% of days with canopy snow had a sway signal that could not be distinguished from thermal effects. However, larger changes in tree sway could not generally be attributed to thermal effects, and canopy snow was present 93%–95% of the time, as confirmed with classified PhenoCam imagery. Using sway tests, we converted changes in sway to canopy SWE, which were correlated with total snowstorm amounts from a nearby SNOTEL site (Spearmanr = 0.72 to 0.80,p < 0.001). Greater canopy SWE was associated with storm temperatures between −7°C and 0°C and wind speeds less than 4 m s−1. Lower canopy SWE prevailed in storms with lower temperatures and higher wind speeds. Monitoring tree sway is a viable approach for quantifying canopy SWE, but challenges remain in converting changes in sway to mass and distinguishing thermal and snow mass effects on tree sway.

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  5. Abstract

    The traditional surface energy balance (SEB) is investigated by applying the thermal energy balance based on total energy conservation. Based on total energy conservation, the thermal and the kinetic energy balances are connected through non‐hydrostatic energy transfer (QNH) as a result of the hydrostatic imbalance caused by potential energy changes from vertical density fluxes in response to mechanical and thermal forcing in the stratified atmosphere. Field observations show that bothQNHand the surface energy imbalance (SEI) have the same diurnal variation; both are near zero under neutral conditions and increase with increasing atmospheric unstable stratification. Energy dissipation due to enhanced turbulent kinetic energy fromQNHis estimated to be the largest energy consumption for potentially explaining the largest SEI under free convective conditions. The relatively large value of energy dissipation in the atmospheric surface layer is due to its exponential increase toward the surface and its increase with atmospheric instability. The other two energy transfers that are traditionally missed are related to water mass flowing through the open soil and air layers, but are relatively small in comparison with the energy dissipation. The new understanding of the energy transfers provides not only a potential explanation for the temporal and magnitude variations of the SEI but also the explanation for different heat/moisture transferring efficiencies between thermally and mechanically generated turbulent mixing. Understanding the SEB is important not only for solving the SEI but also for understanding energy conservation in the atmosphere.

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  6. null (Ed.)